Sun, 26 Feb 2012 19:46:00 GMT | By Rajesh Viswanathan, India Syndicate

India smash France 8-1 to enter London Olympics

On a day when cricketers disappointed big time, India hockey stars roared in New Delhi to storm into the London Olympics 2012. It was a spectacular night of hockey as India smashed apart France 8-1 at the Major Dhyan Chand Stadium. Scroll below to check out commentary and highlights from this very special night only here on MSN India


India V France, Olympic Qualifier Final

Time for massive celebrations and expect India to be roaring late into the night. This Sunday will be remembered for a long time as it has brought India back into the Olympics. Great day for national sport. Who cares about cricket failures. Chak De Indian hockey. Time to say goodbye for the moment. We hope you enjoyed our non-stop coverage and we will leave you now with the promise to keep bringing you great moments from Indian sport exclusively on MSN India. So long everybody!

Final Score: India 8-1 France

Goal scorers - India - Birendra Lakra (17th min), Sandeep Singh (20th, 26th, 37th, 50th and 51st Min), SV Sunil (43rd Min) and VR Raghunath (56th Min)
France - Simon Martin Brisec (24th Min)

Massive performance for Indian hockey team. There were cries all around for the last 4 years that Indian hockey has to come back and how well they have come back. One step is itself a huge step. There is great self belief in this Indian team and with players like Sandeep Singh, SV Sunil, Bharat Chetri and Tushar Khandekar just to name a few, India will go into Olympics 2012 with a strong chance of finishing on the podium. There has been a phenomenal improvement in fitness levels under Michael Nobbs and there is a remarkable resurgence at thismoment. One hopes this momentum carries on for many many days ahead and all the way to London 2012.

09.40 pm /70 minutes - Big breaking news
India are through to London Olympics 2012
India are through to London Olympics 2012
India are through to London Olympics 2012


Massive relief for Indian hockey fans. After missing out a berth in Beijing Olympics in 2008, India have restored their status by qualifying for the Olympics yet again. Great stuff. Hip hip hurray is the chant across the Major Dhyan Chand Stadium as India will now head to London with plenty of confidence. It was a massively one-sided affair in the national capital as India smashed out France 8-1 in the final of the Qualifying Tournament.

Score: India 8-1 France

Goal scorers - India - Birendra Lakra (17th min), Sandeep Singh (20th, 26th, 37th, 50th and 51st Min), SV Sunil (43rd Min) and VR Raghunath (56th Min)
France - Simon Martin Brisec (24th Min)

09.35 pm/ 65 minutes - Desperate France win their 6th penalty corner of the evening and in stark contrast to what India have been doing, the Frenchmen have badly failed in their conversions. India have converted 6 out of 7 while France fail yet again. Now, that's a terrible stat to have, especially in the final with so much at stake. India are not done yet. They mount pressure on the French defenc and late moves by India are largely counter-attacking ones in nature as French are attacking in numbers. Shivendra misses a sitter. Had he converted, India would have come tantalisingly close to scoring 10 for the night. Not to be though. India, now 5 minutes away from London. It is only a matter of time now as everyone in New Delhi is busy watching their stop-watches to clock it down to 0 and burst into massive celebrations.

Score: India 8-1 France

Goal scorers - India - Birendra Lakra (17th min), Sandeep Singh (20th, 26th, 37th, 50th and 51st Min), SV Sunil (43rd Min) and VR Raghunath (56th Min)
France - Simon Martin Brisec (24th Min)

09.30 pm/ 60 minutes - No stopping the Indians at the moment. They win another penalty corner and even though there isn't Sandeep Singh as he is on the bench taking a breather, there is the other specialist VR Raghunath, who slams home the goalllllllllllllllllllllllll. Well, did someone say, India are struggling in recent years due to poor penalty corner conversions? 6 from 7 penalty corner attempts have been converted by India. What a stat that is! Keep going India.

Score: India 8-1 France

Goal scorers - India - Birendra Lakra (17th min), Sandeep Singh (20th, 26th, 37th, 50th and 51st Min), SV Sunil (43rd Min) and VR Raghunath (56th Min)
France - Simon Martin Brisec (24th Min)

09.22 pm / 52 minutes - It is a period of lull and understandably too. India are having a stroll in the park and they just need to do the basics right for the remainder of the time to keep it tight and go home. Shivendra does very well to win a penalty corner and another yellow card means France are down to 9 men. Can India take full advantage of it? Singh is King, Singh is King, Singh is King, Singh is King. Yes, we are saying this four times since the specialist notches his 4th goallllllllllllllllllllll of the evening and 15th of the tournament. It is raining goals here and 9-men France are being put to the sword by the 11-men India. Wait a minute. I haven't finished yet and Sandeep hasn't finished either. He gets his 5th goal of the evening as France are being decimated here. Goodness gracious me! India are running riot in New Delhi.

Score: India 7-1 France

Goal scorers - India - Birendra Lakra (17th min) and Sandeep Singh (20th, 26th, 37th, 50th and 51st Min), SV Sunil (43rd Min)
France - Simon Martin Brisec (24th Min)

(Continued)